A misinterpretation of the California Senator’s statement has been circulated

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

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On June 10, conservative portal Georgia First published a news story headlined “California Democrat Senator says upholding the two sexes and parents’ rights is ‘hate’.” According to the news story, Senator Scott Wiener said that LGBTQ+ children in foster care do not belong to their parents but belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, according to the news story, the Senator said that parents who want to maintain their parental rights are “nasty people.” According to the news story, the Senator made these statements in San Francisco before the start of Pride. Georgia First cites the English-language Instagram page, mindsetofpotential, as the primary source for the story, which also posted a similar story on June 9. 

An information card on the news was posted on the Facebook page of the portal, Georgia First News. The card was also shared by social media users (1,2).

kaliphornieli senatoris gantskhadeba mtsdari interpretatsiith vrtseldeba A misinterpretation of the California Senator’s statement has been circulated

kaliphornieli senatoris gantskhadeba mtsdari interpretatsiith vrtseldeba1 A misinterpretation of the California Senator’s statement has been circulated

Several quotes and phrases are taken out of context in the circulated news in a way that completely misrepresents the actual content of his speech. 1) The Senator did not say that LGBTQ+ children do not belong to their parents but belong to the LGBTQ+ community. In the phrase “they are our children,” the word “our” was meant to refer to society/social safety net that has a duty to care for vulnerable groups of population; 2) The Senator says the phrase “nasty people” about those people who are hateful towards the LGBTQ+ community, not the parents. The Senator mentions parents only once in his speech and in a completely different context.

The title and the text of the article give the impression that the views expressed in it were expressed by the Senator in his speech.

In the above excerpts from the disseminated article, there are several actual phrases and quotes from the Senator’s speech: “These are our children,” “nasty people,” and “we know that so much of the hate directed at our community is happening in other states. Unfortunately, it’s here in California too.” However, the rest of the text, which seemed to paraphrase Senator’s words, actually gives the wrong context to Wiener’s quotes and therefore, completely changes the content of the Senator’s speech. The Senator made no mention of parents’ rights or a desire to maintain parental rights.

In what context does Senator utter the phrase “they are our children”

In his speech before the start of Pride in California, Scott Wiener said that even in times of budget deficit, a safety net must be provided to vulnerable groups, especially young members of the LGBTQ+ community and children. Weiner was speaking in his capacity as a Senator and the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, which suggests that the phrase “they are our children” is not directed at the LGBTQ+ community but at society as a whole and the social safety system.

Senator Scott Weiner: “…. We do have challenges. I will now get a little more serious. I have the honor of serving as the chair of the Senate Budget Committee this year, just in time for a massive budget deficit. It’s a challenging budget year. We are working very, very hard to make sure that our safety net, in particular, for our young people, people who are at risk of homelessness, and our foster kids, who are disproportionately LGBTQ, we need to make sure that even during bad budget times, we are always there for these kids. These are our kids. We need to make sure we are lifting them up and giving them a path to success. We are working very hard to make that happen.”

In what context does the Senator say “nasty people”

The Senator uses the phrase “nasty people” when speaking about groups that are aggressive and hateful towards the LGBTQ+ community. This phrase has nothing to do with parents. In his speech, the Senator mentions parents only once and in a completely different context. The Senator noted that it is up to the individual to decide when to disclose their sexual or gender identity to their parents, and no one has the right to force them to come out.

Senator Scott Weiner: “We know that so much of the hate directed at our community is happening in other states. Unfortunately, it’s here in California too. We know that we have school boards, and in particular, in very conservative areas, that are demonizing and attacking our GBTQ youth in ways that are so, so dangerous. And so, about a week ago, our caucus, the 12 of us, we said – not on our watch – and we introduced legislation to ban this forced outing policy that some school boards are starting to adopt. Because we know, all of us in this room have a lot of experience in terms of coming out, in terms of when, if, and how someone comes out to their parents; that is our decision and no one else’s damn business. So, we are going to make that clear in the law of the state of California. But as we fight all the nasty people out there trying to harm us, we are going to beat them, and we are going to win.”

Weiner was talking about a bill aimed at banning the so-called forced outing policy in schools – disclosing a teenager’s sexual or gender identity to his or her parents without the teenager’s consent.

Archive links: Georgia First (1,2), Facebook posts (1,2).


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Violation: Missing Context
Country: USA
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